The Government’s recent announcement (threat!) to amend or scrap crucial environmental laws protecting the UK’s most vulnerable wildlife and green places affects all of us. If they come to fruition, the removal of such protections will not only directly and adversely affect nature but will potentially strangle plans for improved carbon capture, compromise food security and increase pollution – not to mention dramatically reducing our access to and around all our National Parks; vital for mental and physical health and wellbeing.
Whilst the country wide picture is of great concern, our area of influence is focussed on the Yorkshire Dales National Park, which – following a dramatic cut in funding – is being asked to deliver more, yet with much less. Remember too that the mainly upland farmers in the Yorkshire Dales are already on an economic edge, so if incentives (from current and/or future environmental land management schemes) to farm in partnership with nature cease, they will have no option but to move to more intensive, less nature friendly methods.
We want to reassure you that we are ‘on it’. We have already raised our concerns to the Government in a letter signed by 78 environmental, animal welfare and heritage organisations including RSPB, Rivers Trust, and Campaign for National Parks (CNP), representing Friends of the Dales and the 11 other National Park Societies of England and Wales. We are also in the process of gathering the necessary information so we can create an accurate and relevant letter for you to share with your MP regarding the specific threats of the proposed deregulation on the Yorkshire Dales.
In the meantime, if you urgently want to contact your MP to express your concerns, their details can be found at:
Photo: A former smelt mill near Keld in Swaledale by Victoria Benn